Business World

Friday 24 February 2017

Hollande calls for formation of eurozone government

Astrid Wendlandt

French President François Hollande
French President François Hollande

French President François Hollande has urged the creation of a eurozone government and for citizens to renew their faith in the EU, which has been weakened by the Greek crisis.

Reviving an idea originally put forward by former European Commission chief Jacques Delors, Mr Hollande proposed "a government of the eurozone (with) a specific budget as well as a parliament to ensure its democratic control".

The French president said the 19 member states of the eurozone had chosen to join the monetary union because it was in their interests and no one had "taken the responsibility of getting out of it".

"This choice calls for a strengthened organisation, an advance guard of the countries who will decide on it," he said.

The eurozone's members are united in the informal body the EuroGroup, which comprises each country's finance minister, presided over by Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

"What threatens us is not an excess of Europe but its insufficiency," Mr Hollande wrote in an article in the 'Journal du Dimanche' newspaper.

He said Europe had let its institutions become weaker and admitted the EU's 28 members were "struggling to find common ground to move forward. Parliaments remain too far away from decisions. And people are turning away after having been bypassed."

The president said populist movements had seized on disenchantment with European institutions and were taking issue with Europe because "they are scared of the world".

Irish Independent

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